TRI COUNTY REPORT FOR JANUARY 19TH, 2021

A Greensboro, Pa., man was taken to the hospital following a tractor-trailer accident yesterday morning in Pulaski Township. According to State Police, 52 year old Vien Humbert was northbound on interstate 376 when he lost control and jackknifed striking a guard rail. Humbert was taken to St.Elizabeth’s Hospital in Youngstown for treatment.

A Butler County man has been arrested after allegedly posting a threatening message on the social media app Snapchat.  The post on the account of 24-year-old Ryan McConnell shows him holding an AR-15 with the caption “ready for school!”  Police arrested the suspect on Sunday and say they found him in possession of the AR-15, a pistol and ammunition.  Authorities became aware of the post through a tip to the FBI.

Pennsylvania is seeing another spike in new positive COVID-19 cases.  The Pennsylvania Department of Health reported more than four-thousand new cases yesterday.  Eighty more people have also passed away due to complications of the coronavirus.  The positivity rate dropped by about two-percent last week, as it now holds at almost 13-percent. Lawrence County added 23 new cases bringing its total to 5,088 and 150 deaths. Mercer County has 7,018 cases and 193 fatalities.

Beaver County reported it’s 10,000th cases of Covid-19. The number of COVID-19 cases has skyrocketed in the county since December first, with the tally of residents who tested positive doubling between Dec. 1 and Jan. 1.

The Senate Democratic Policy Committee marked the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service by holding a hearing on raising the state’s minimum wage. Committee Chair Senator Katie Muth says it was important to hold the hearing on Martin Luther KingJr. Day because King was an advocate for worker’s rights. “Business for a Fair Minimum Wage” Vice-President Alissa Menza-Barron spoke in support of a higher minimum wage in Pennsylvania. (CUT 5) But Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr voiced concerns.(CUT 4) Barr says having a state Earned Income Tax Credit would provide a bigger benefit for low wageworkers.

A Harrisburg woman is being accused of stealing from Nancy Pelosi’s office during the U.S. Capitol riot.  Riley June Williams was arrested and charged yesterday with knowingly entering a restricted building or ground without lawful authority, violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol Grounds for her alleged involvement in the protests in D.C at the beginning of the month.  FBI authorities say they believe Williams stole a laptop computer or a hard drive device from Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office.  According to a tip they received from a friend of Williams, she said she is planning to sell the laptop or hard drive to another friend in Russia.  The FBI’s investigation is still ongoing.

The calm continues at the state Capitol building in Harrisburg.  Most buildings were closed Monday due to the Martin Luther King Junior holiday, but the increased presence of the P-A National Guard was visible, as were plenty of orange security barriers.  Pennlive reports there were no arrests related to protest activity.

On Monday, President Trump adjusted his 2020 order to create a National Garden of American Heroes.  The garden would be filled with nearly 200 statues of Americans of positive significance.  Many of the names added to the list might be familiar to residents of Western Pennsylvania.  They include Pennsylvania native Jimmy Stewart, Jonas Salk who created the cure for polio while working at the University of Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh Pirates legend Roberto Clemente.  No location, timetable or funding source has been named for the Garden.

The Allegheny County Airport Authority is going to extend its current CEO’s contract.  The authority announced yesterday that it will be extending Christina Cassotis’ contract through 2025.  Cassotis is being credited for leading Pittsburgh International Airport’s microgrid project as well as obtaining about 19-million-dollars in grant funding to expand the airport’s cargo facility.

Impact fees from natural gas have reportedly decreased significantly in 2020.  According to a new estimate from the Independent Fiscal Office, fees fell 28 percent last year. The report shows an expected $144.85 million the state will receive in impact fees. That’s the lowest since 2011.